There’s a (mostly) unspoken axiom among players and designers that a video game avatar should fit the player like a tailor-made glove fits the hand. The ideal avatar, this theory holds, is an extension of ourselves; an attractive and comfy container that invites us to step inside. Any friction that makes us aware of our avatar’s otherness is nothing but bad design.
Tagged With horror games
Editor’s note: Happy Halloween! We’ve prepared a special treat (or is it a trick?)—our horror games reporter Stacie Ponder and editor Chris Kohler teamed up to bring you this special ABC book starring your favourite horror game pals (with sincere apologies to Edward Gorey).
Stacie did the wonderful illustrations (tons of work), Chris wrote the words (very little work).
In State of Decay 2, players manage a ragtag group of survivors as they gather resources, use resources, and waste resources, as well as complain and fight off zombies. In the game’s DLC Daybreak, out this week, base-building and citizen micromanagement are put aside in favour of pure zed-killing action.
What’s your favourite horror-game weapon? Pistol? Crossbow? Flamethrower? While I enjoy the feeling of security that comes from wandering a dark hallway with a spiked baseball bat in hand, I enjoy walking down a not-dark hallway even more. And so I would like to pay tribute to the oft-unsung MVP of the horror game protagonist’s arsenal: the humble flashlight.
By the mid-2000s, Capcom was rightly considered a formidable creator of horror games thanks to venerable series like Dead Rising, Dino Crisis, Devil May Cry, and Resident Evil. But one of its best horror games never spawned a series and wasn't a critical or commercial megahit. The 2005 PlayStation 2 game Haunting Ground is a transgressive cult classic that serves up one of gaming's greatest, most chilling villains.
Last month, the ongoing legal battles over the rights of the Friday the 13th franchise caught up with the game, bringing its development to a halt. New content was “unfeasible now or in the future” due to the lawsuit, the game’s publisher said.
Unlike Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th ain’t coming back. It’s a terribly premature ending for the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game, one that caps off a beleaguered 14 months full of bugs, glitches and gore.
No matter how good a horror movie is, it'll never quite match the horrifying feeling of being in control of the main character's desperate struggle for survival. Horror games are uniquely terrifying for their interactivity - you're not allowed to just close your eyes when things get scary. Here's our pick of the five scariest horror games every horror junkie needs to play.
Until Dawn is one of gaming's greatest love letters to horror movies. It conforms to and subverts the slasher paradigm so well that it often feels like playing through a long-lost classic film from the sub-genre's early-'80s heyday. It's creepy, atmospheric, gory and occasionally goofy.
The game is at its most shocking, however, when it abandons the slasher conceit entirely, and we learn what the real terror of Blackwood Mountain is.
OK/NORMAL is an experimental arcade game by Toni Koretelahti that embraces the visuals of early PlayStation games. The game, which captures the strange and abstract worlds of mid-90s 3D, is one of several new indie titles that embrace a new form of "retro" aesthetics. It's an oppressive, bizarre, and overwhelming game whose glitch spaces are so tangled, I thought I would never escape.
I don't mean to brag, but I've seen more episodes of Murder, She Wrote than is healthy for someone under age 70. I'd like to think that the hours I've spent watching Jessica Fletcher do her thing have made me an expert in being a busybody and in solving crimes. How fortuitous, then, that the spooky thriller Dead Secret, recently released for PlayStation 4, allows me to indulge both of these passions.
Playing Doki Doki Literature Club is like realising you have a fever: For a while you deny the creeping feeling that something isn't quite right until it's too late to do anything about it. In the beginning of the game you think it's a cute dating sim, but before too long, you can no longer deny that you're playing a horror game.
While the latter half of the game is scary as hell, one of Doki Doki Literature Club's most impactful moments happens before its turn to horror.
The Golden Age of survival horror games began in the mid-'90s and ran for about a decade. Despite their often rudimentary graphics and dodgy gameplay, series such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill explored B-movies and psychological horror in ways previously unfamiliar to gamers. Pick any "all-time best horror games" list, and chances are more than a few titles from this era will be cited. This may have been the Golden Age, but if current titles are any indication, we may be on the brink of another.